Thursday, April 21, 2011

Not Just Meal Planning...

So I've been thinking more about the blog and how I tend to get overly involved in something and it sort of overtakes my life. Like meal planning. I'm really good at concentrating on one thing, but then other things get left out or left behind in the dust of my creativity or determination. I must be better at balance.

Speaking of balance, I've been trying to do yoga (thank you netflix for instant streaming) and I found a video that I like because it has only 10 minute increments. That means I can actually complete something while the kiddos are otherwise occupied. Meanwhile, I'm not sure yoga is really "me." There's a lot of "relaxing" breathing in the video... along with loud breathing sounds for when you're supposed to exhale. I understand that is part of the exercise, but really... it's a bit distracting at times. Plus, I fall over a lot. I am just not a physical person.

So the latest project I have taken on has been another money saving strategy.  I am switching to cloth diapers.  Yes, you read that right.  Initially I was only going to switch Ben to help with his potty training, as he had no problem sitting in a full disposable diaper all day.  He just didn't care if he was wet or dirty, so the move to cloth was designed to help him feel when he was wet or dry.  It totally worked!  We did cloth off and on with him for about 3 weeks, alternating between cloth diapers and underwear.  He'll go whenever we tell him, but he needs to be reminded.  Overall, he is doing great and will even stay dry through the entire night.   What a pro!

Now we are moving to cloth for Sophie.  I've been researching a lot on the internet because cloth diapers are not how they used to be!  My favorite brand is called Thirsties, a system involving a cover and inserts.  To save money I am making the covers myself, as they cost about $13.00 each.  The covers are adjustable so they will fit her through multiple sizes and I bought simple Gerber birdseye prefolds.  It's working pretty well so far.  Here's my favorite cover I've made so far:

The materials I used were a waterproof polyurethane laminate for the lining, a poly-cotton blend for the cover, and fold over elastic for the binding.  It was surprisingly easy to make and took about 2 hours from start to finish, but I was moving slow because I had to draft a pattern and I'd never made one like this before.  I'm sure it will move faster.  I'll be saving about $50 a month on diapers, not to mention that I've learned a skill that will save money for all our future children.  The supplies for everything cost about $75 which included prefolds, fabric, and notions for about 20 diapers.  Not including the cost of prefolds (about $20) that comes to $2.75 a cover!  I also bought fabric to make swim diapers and lined training pants for nighttime.  This was well worth the investment for me.

Speaking of saving money, here's my menu for the week:

Pancakes (buttermilk)
Cream of Wheat


W Cream of Broccoli Soup & Rolls (broccoli, cream)
T Chicken Fajitas (bell pepper, red onion)
F Pizza (bell pepper, onion, sausage, cheese)
S Beef Back Ribs, Potato Salad, Green Beans (ribs @ 1.47 lb)
M Bean Burritos
T Ham and Bean Soup, Rolls, Salad (navy beans, red bell pepper, egg, lettuce)

Stater Bros       15.33
Sprouts              4.08
Costco              17.97
Total                37.38

Do you see that total? We did it!  I think using inexpensive meats, having two vegetarian meals and using dried beans helped a lot.

Stephen has the day off from work tomorrow, so we're going to have a fun Friday together. :)  TTFN.


  1. Alicia, I totally want to learn how to make those cloth diapers! I hope to see you all this summer and maybe you could do a quick lesson or something when we see you. I LOVE your blog!


  2. Thanks, Michelle! I'm planning on writing a How-To soon! We are planning on seeing you this summer- we're really looking forward to it!

  3. Alicia, check out, and eBay for used covers. We use the Flip system and I've found covers a lot cheaper on these sites. Also, go to sites like, and Sometimes they sell the trial diapers that people return for a lot cheaper! You might try that too. Good luck! It's an adjustment to go cloth full-time but it's saved us so much money already.